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Industrial America

The Teach Tennessee History website is designed to assist teachers in implementing the 2015 Tennessee State Social Studies Standards.  Please use the menu links to the left to access the following resources for Industrial America:

ETHS Teaching Materials:  Click on ETHS Teaching Materials to find student-friendly essays and classroom activities developed by ETHS staff.  The essays and activities are designed based on the Tennessee Social Studies Standards. The downloadable teacher packets also include primary sources and images when available.

ETHS Articles:  Click on ETHS Articles to find articles from ETHS publications to enrich your content knowledge and supplement textbook resources.

Additional Resources: Click on Additional Resources to find additional activites and links to useful websites.

Standards 5.27-5.29, 5.34-5.40

Industrial America and Westward Expansion

Students explain the various causes and consequences of the Second Industrial Revolution and events in Tennessee, and describe the nation’s growing role in world affairs.

5.27 Explain the need for the South and Tennessee to move toward industry and mechanization after the Civil War and identify examples of the effort, including Coca Cola bottling in Chattanooga, mining on the Cumberland Plateau, coal and iron processing, the growth of urban areas, and the increase in railroads. (G, E, H, TN)

5.28 Map the sources of new immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, China, and Japan, and interpret narratives and excerpts from informational text describing the role that Chinese and Irish laborers played in the development of the Transcontinental Railroad. (C, E, G, H)

5.29 Summarize why the United States was viewed as the land of opportunity by immigrants versus a growing sense of protectionism and nativism by American citizens. (C, P)

5.34 Engage in a collaborative discussion to explore the ideas and events of the Gilded Age and determine the significance, including: (C, E, H, P)

• political machines
• major scandals
• economic disparity • industrial capitalists

5.35 Describe child labor and working conditions in factories. (C, E, H)

5.36 Analyze the role of Samuel Gompers and the American Federation of Labor in changing standards for working conditions. (E, H, P)

5.37 Use a graphic organizer to provide information about important business leaders, inventors, and entrepreneurs and the impact they had on American society, including: (C, E, H)

• Thomas Edison
• Alexander Graham Bell
• Henry Ford
• George Eastman
• George Washington Carver • Henry Bessemer
• Swift and Armour
• Cornelius Vanderbilt

5.38 Use multiple media elements to create a presentation describing the 1897 Centennial Exposition, including its purpose, sights, exhibits, and impact on the state. (TN)

5.39 Analyze the causes, course, and consequences of the Spanish American War, including: (C,E, G, H, TN)

  • yellow journalism

  • USS Maine

  • Rough Riders

  • Imperialism

5.40 Analyze the major goals, struggles, and achievements of the Progressive Era, including attacking racial discrimination, child labor, big business, conservation, and alcohol use: (C, E, P)

  • Anti-Trust laws

  • 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th Amendments

  • immigration reform


Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Twenty Years at Hull House, Jane Addams; excerpts from How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis; excerpts from The Jungle, Upton Sinclair 

Standards US.1, US.4-US.9

US.1 Explain patterns of agricultural and industrial development as they relate to climate, use of natural resources, markets and trade, the growth of major urban areas, and describe the geographic considerations that led to the location of specialized industries such as textiles, automobiles, and steel. (E, G) 

US.4 Analyze the causes and consequences of Gilded Age politics and economics, including the rise of political machines, major scandals, civil service reform, and the economic difference between farmers, wage earners, and industrial capitalists, including the following: (E, H, P)

  • Boss Tweed
  • Thomas Nast
  • Credit Mobilier
  • Whiskey Ring
  • Garfield’s assassination
  • Pendleton Act
  • Interstate Commerce Act

US.5 Analyze the controversy that arose over the currency system in the late 1800’s, including the impact of gold and silver strikes in the West, the contrasting views of farmers and industrialists, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, the Gold Crisis during the Cleveland administration, and an analysis of William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold speech. (E, H, P)

US.6 Describe the changes in American life that resulted from the inventions and innovations of business leaders and entrepreneurs of the period: (C, E)

  • Henry Bessemer
  • George Pullman
  • Alexander Graham Bell 
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Thomas Edison
  • J.P. Morgan
  • John D. Rockefeller
  • Swift and Armour
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt

US.7 Analyze the movement of people from rural to urban areas as a result of industrialization. (E, G)

US.8 Evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media as in the political cartoons of Thomas Nast and others during the Gilded Age. (C, P)

US.9 Describe the difference between “old” and “new” immigrants and analyze the assimilation process and consequences for the “new” immigrants and their impact on American society, including ethnic clusters, competition for jobs, rise of nativism, the work of Jane Addams, the documentation of living conditions by Jacob Riis, Chinese Exclusion Acts, and the Gentlemen’s Agreement. (C, E, G).

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from the “Cross of Gold” speech, William Jennings Bryan; excerpts from Twenty Years at Hull House, Jane Addams; excerpts from The Gospel of Wealth, Andrew Carnegie

Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Consider: excerpts from “The New Colossus,” Emma Lazarus